Tracksters run down school records
School records and personal bests were the order of the day at Saturday’s Palisade Invitational track and field meet.
A host of area athletes recorded their best times and marks of the season, with several qualifying for state.
And Chas Salmen, for one, added his name to another school record at Glenwood Springs High School. And the Glenwood girls 4×800 relay team also smashed the school record on Saturday.
Jeri Polowchena of Glenwood Springs had one of her best days ever at Stocker Stadium.
Her triple jump of 34 feet, 2 1/2 inches, earned the Demon senior a silver medal and qualified Polowchena for the State Track and Field Championships in May.
Polowchena said she had problems with her first two jumps before hitting her state-qualifying mark on the third jump.
“It was a personal goal of mine to qualify for state, and it’s a lot off my chest. Now I can just have fun and hopefully get even farther,” Polowchena said.
Earlier, she finished third in the 100-meter hurdles, two-tenths of a second behind teammate Megan McGrath, who ran a personal best of 16.32 seconds.
Rifle’s Danielle Reedy was fourth in the event.
She also helped the Bears to second place in the girls 4×100 relay. Running with teammates Brooke St. Pierre, Jennifer Kitchens and Trena Leuallen, the Rifle foursome clocked in at 52.38.
Leuallen posted one of Rifle’s two individual first-place marks at Saturday’s meet.
She outlasted Grand Junction’s Brenna Shanahan for the gold medal in the 100-meter dash, nipping the Tiger runner at the finish in 12.97 to Shanahan’s 12.98.
Glenwood’s Jennifer Kishimoto finished fifth in the event at 13.30.
Glenwood’s Lacey Darien also earned a state berth in the 3200 meters. She was fourth on Saturday in 12:19.52, well under the state-qualifying standard for the event.
Ryan Enright collected the Bears’ other gold, racing to a seasonal best 15.32 in the boys 110 hurdles, beating runners from Gunnison and Fruita Monument for the win.
Enright said that going over the first few hurdles cleanly was a big part of his victory.
“Running over those first couple of hurdles tells me how I’m going to run the race. If I go over them smooth, I feel I’m going to do well,” he said.
“I felt good today,” added Enright, who admitted he was surprised at the level of competition.
“The competition today was pretty tight,” he said. “… (Matt Sparks) from Gunnison surprised me. I wasn’t expecting him to be up there with me,” Enright said of the second-place finisher.
Enright’s teammate in both hurdle events, Justin Steffen, took third place in the 300 intermediates and finished fifth in the low hurdles
Chas and Marco Salmen of Glenwood Springs showed the Stocker Stadium crowd why they are among the best long-distance runners in the state, regardless of classification.
Running in the 1600 meters, Chas Salmen won in school-record time, breaking Gus Lundin’s mark of 4:27.53, set in the 2000 state meet.
Chas ran 4:27.07 to claim the school mark. Brother Marco took second place over rival Ben Tobler from Montrose in 4:32.01 to Tobler’s 4:33.21.
“Our goal was max pain and to make it hurt,” older brother Chas said of the pair’s accomplishment.
“We trained hard all week, and we were a little fatigued (today), so we knew it would hurt. Our goal was to push that pain and enjoy it.”
Marco said that enjoyment part of the pain of training comes after winning.
“During the time of the pain, it’s not fun. But, it’s good to know if you push yourself that hard, the feeling you have afterward is what keeps runners coming back to their races.”
Meanwhile, Glenwood’s Megan McKinnie continued her streak of strong performances of late.
She won the girls 300-meter intermediate hurdles and finished fourth in the discus.
Two Rifle shotputters, Amanda Bingham and Kari Wiig, ended in fifth and eighth places, respectively.
In the relays, the Glenwood girls team of Darien, Abbey Walters, Sarah Shepard and Kessie Schwanebeck took third place in the 4×800 in a time of 10:13.88, setting a school record.
And Glenwood’s 4×400 team finished first Saturday, behind Kishimoto, Walters, McKinnie and Darien.
The Rifle boys 4×100 foursome, consisting of Enright, Kalvin Deere, Brock Milhorn and Ryan Schoeppner, took fourth and the Bears’ 4×200 relay team also was fourth.
Other outstanding individual marks by area athletes included fifth-, sixth- and seventh-place finishes by Rifle’s Ryan Schoeppner, Brian Hileman and David Suminski in the boys 100 meter dash.
Kristina Dahlin was third in the high jump.
And Walters of Glenwood was fourth in the 1600.
Brandon Jackel of Glenwood also finished sixth in the 300 hurdles.
All the area teams will visit Glenwood’s Stubler Memorial Field next Saturday as participants in the annual Demon Invitational.
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